TIBCO ActiveMatrix BPM Review

Helped us solve interfacing issues between platforms but the connectivity is poor


What is our primary use case?

We use the solution to build BPM workflows for users.

How has it helped my organization?

The TIBCO product helped us solve an interfacing issue between platforms that may have been more difficult with other products. 

What is most valuable?

My favorite feature of the solution is not actually a feature specifically for the BPM ActiveMatrix. It's a general feature used for the entire platform. It is the integration through the TCI which we needed. Because we are using both the BPM and the TCI, we need the proper integration platform. The BPM itself is average from the point of view of the features of a program. The real advantage is that the three products are tightly integrated with one another and the solution, for us, works well. 

What needs improvement?

The BPM setup could offer more options. The connectivity right now is poor because not a lot of protocols are supported. So, we had some trouble setting up a proper BPM connection to access cloud data.

BPM ActiveMatrix integrates with TCI and we are using both, so from an integration standpoint, it ended up being a good solution for us. The user interface for the BPM is quite average. It's a drag-and-drop interface so you can very quickly build workflows for users. But the functionality is a bit average in that you only have drag-and-drop and no real ability to customize for more difficult tasks.

The ability to write code would help. It's okay in many cases to have something that is drag and drop because it is simple. I have a data model and I can connect the data model to our data source. I build my user interfaces in a drag and drop way, so it's quite simple. It's also simple to deliver to mobile tablets and so on. But sometimes things are not so simple and you need to write some code to make some specific adjustments not covered by the drag and drop components. In that case, we are forced to use the TCI and there are many more steps to transform source data into data delivered by the interface. So, if you can code directly in the BPM, some things that are a little bit more complex would be possible. That would make it a better tool.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been using the product for one year and a half.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The application itself is quite stable. They continue to improve in that way. Every six months or every quarter the company is pushing out new updates. It's a cloud solution so it's continuing to evolve. From the reliability point of view, it's quite stable. We didn't have any issues with scalability except the decisions to scale intelligently.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Scaling is just a matter of clicking on the number of instances for a deployed application and changing it. It's quite simple. The problem obviously is how many licenses you actually need. If you have, for example, 50 or 60 licenses, you have to be very careful because every time you scale it counts as an additional application. If you don't have people using the licenses, you are spending more for nothing. You need to deal with your licenses intelligently. If you pay more, you can have more space for more users. If your licenses are not being used, it was not worth paying more.

How are customer service and technical support?

I'm not directly involved with the technical support because there is another guy here in the company that is in charge of this. So, I cannot say anything definitive about support. We had one issue with the BPM. I know that we contacted the support. In that case, it was because all of the protocol we wanted to use wasn't supported. They just couldn't help us at the time because it was something not supported by the platform. They gave an answer. It wasn't the one we wanted. Maybe they will do more development.

How was the initial setup?

There is no initial setup but this is because we are using the cloud version.

When you buy the license for the cloud version, you have full access to the website. So the platform is ready to use as soon as you make a contract to use it.

What other advice do I have?

I would rate this product a seven out of ten. We are just at the beginning of the cloud era for the BPM. This is the same for other vendors like Azure with PowerApps and so on. There will be a lot of room for improvement. But they are still useful products for production. I rate it a seven. It is good, but not so good that it might not be better in the future.

The most important thing is to understand that using the cloud platform is completely different from the on-premise installation. You need to really understand your business needs because it's a completely different environment. It's very useful for filling gaps in your business processes. Different solutions are available and it is flexible usually on demand. If you are using Salesforce or a CRM and you should be using other cloud solutions in your business processes, it's okay to have a cloud solution. But if you're a company that relies on on-premise systems, maybe the cloud solution is not the best solution because of how you usually go about your business. So, maybe you need to choose the on-premise solution. 

It's very important to define which is the best solution for you by understanding the advantages and disadvantages and not just follow the suggestions by the vendors. TIBCO is trying to push the cloud solution because all the competitors are going to the cloud. But you really need to understand what are your business needs and use it if it is the best solution for you.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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